Special guest Peter Brook and hosts Karen Brooks Hopkins and Bryan Doerries discuss creative life in the context of our new social reality.
Peter Brook (b. 1925, London) has distinguished himself in theater, opera, cinema, and writing throughout his career. He directed his first play in London in 1943 and has since directed more than 70 productions in London, Paris, and New York. His work with the Royal Shakespeare Company includes Love’s Labour’s Lost (1946), Measure for Measure (1950), Titus Andronicus (1955), King Lear (1962), Marat/Sade (1964), US (1966), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1970), and Antony and Cleopatra (1978). In 1971, he founded with Micheline Rozan the International Centre for Theatre Research in Paris and opened its permanent base in the Bouffes du Nord Theatre in 1974, where he has presented works such as The Iks (1975), Conference of the Birds (1979), The Cherry Orchard (1981), The Tragedy of Carmen (1981), and The Mahabharata (1985), and, most recently, The Suit (2012), The Valley of Astonishment (2014) and Battlefield (2015)—many of these in both French and English. Brook’s longstanding relationship to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where many of his productions have been seen in New York, dates back to the 1970s, when BAM presented his innovative rendering of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Royal Shakespeare Company. As part of the 1987 Next Wave Festival, he presented the nine-hour, three-part Indian epic The Mahabharata, followed by Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard (1988), The Man Who (1995), The Tragedy of Hamlet (2001), The Suit (2013), and Battlefield (2016). He has directed operas at Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera House, the Bouffes du Nord, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. Brook’s autobiography, Threads of Time, was published in 1998 and joins his other titles including The Empty Space (1968), The Shifting Point (1987), There are no Secrets (1993), Evoking (and Forgetting) Shakespeare (1999), and The Quality of Mercy (2014). His films include Moderato Cantabile (1959), Lord of the Flies (1963), Marat/Sade (1967), Tell me Lies (1967), King Lear (1969), Meetings with Remarkable Men (1976), The Mahabharata (1989), and The Tragedy of Hamlet (2002, TV). (Source)
Karen Brooks Hopkins served as President of the Brooklyn Academy of Music from 1999 until her retirement in 2015, and was an employee of the institution since 1979. Hopkins served as the chair of the Cultural Institutions Group from 2002-2004, a member of the Mayor’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission and as a participant on Mayor de Blasio’s transition committee. From 2005-2010 she served as the Brooklyn Regent for the New York State Education Department. In 2013, Crain’s named her one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in New York,” and in 2014 she was one of ten selected into its inaugural “New York Business Hall of Fame.” From 2015-2017, she served as the Inaugural Senior Fellow in Residence at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation where her research focused on the impact of anchor cultural institutions. Columbia University conferred upon her an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on May 22, 2019.
Hopkins is the author of the widely read book, Successful Fundraising for Arts & Cultural Organizations, which is currently available in a revised second edition through Greenwood Publishing. Hopkins has been awarded several honorary designations for her international work in the arts including Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France, Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star from Sweden and the King Olav Medal from Norway. Hopkins serves on the boards of the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, the Trust for Governors Island and Alexander Onassis Foundation, where she is currently serving as Senior Advisor. She is currently the Nasher Haemisegger Fellow of the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) at Southern Methodist University. (Source)
Bryan Doerries is a writer, director, and translator, who currently serves as Artistic Director of Theater of War Productions. A self-described evangelist for ancient stories and their relevance to our lives today, Doerries uses age-old approaches to help individuals and communities heal from trauma and loss. During his tenure at Theater of War Productions, the company has presented diverse projects across the United States and internationally. The company uses dramatic readings of seminal plays and community conversations to confront topics such as combat-related psychological injury, end-of-life care, police and community relations, prison reform, gun violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, the refugee crisis, and addiction. Doerries’ books include The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today, The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan, and a collection of his translations of ancient Greek Tragedies entitled All That You’ve Seen Here is God. Among his awards, he has received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Kenyon College, and in March 2017, he was named Public Artist in Residence (PAIR) for the City of New York, a joint appointment with the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services and Department of Cultural Affairs. (Source)